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Bovine cysticercosis outbreak in an indoor beef finisher farm in the North of England
  1. Michele Macrelli1,
  2. Camilla Brena2,
  3. Rudolf Reichel2,
  4. Belgees Boufana3 and
  5. Elizabeth Sian Mitchell4
  1. 1Veterinary Investigation Centre, Animal and Plant Health Agency, Bury Saint Edmunds, UK
  2. 2Veterinary Investigation Centre, Animal and Plant Heath Agency, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, UK
  3. 3National Wildlife Management Centre, Animal and Plant Health Agency, Sand Hutton, York, UK
  4. 4Veterinary Investigation Centre, Animal and Plant Health Agency, Carmarthen, UK
  1. Correspondence to Michele Macrelli; michele.macrelli{at}


Bovine cysticercosis is a parasitic infection of cattle caused by the human tapeworm Taenia saginata. Bovine cysticercosis was identified by meat inspection in 4.7 per cent (18 out of 380) of the cattle submitted for slaughter, over an 8-month period, from a beef finisher farm. This value is significantly higher compared with the 2019 annual rate of detection from England meat inspection data, which was 0.018 per cent. Two of the 18 carcases were condemned on the grounds of generalised bovine cysticercosis. Its involvement was investigated by histopathological examination and confirmed using PCR and sequencing. Animal and Plant Health Agency collected data regarding the feed, the source of livestock, the staff sanitary conditions, the husbandry system, management and the farm environment. The results indicated that the permanently housed cattle were most likely infected on the finisher unit by homemade grass silage produced from a field which was crossed by a public footpath and bordered by two camp sites.

  • cattle
  • cestodes
  • parasitology
  • food safety
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  • Contributors MM and CB performed the farm visit. MM, CB and RR planned the epidemiological Investigation. MM and CB provided advice to the farmer. MM wrote the article. BB performed the molecular tests. ESM provided the parasitological supervision and reviewed the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article.

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